Testing Websites In Both IE 6 and IE 7 On Linux

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As anyone who works with web sites knows, Internet Explorer, is not the most standards compliant browser available. It is, however, for better or for worse, one of the most widely used. The closest competitor is the firefox web browser which we strongly recommend. Firefox is generally more compliant, runs on all common operating systems, and is free.

This article discusses how to run multiple versions of Internet Explorer (IE 6, IE 7, IE 8, etc.) on the same computer – whether that computer is running Windows or Linux. This is vital for production web work as there are vast differences between versions of IE and other browsers such as firefox, opera, etc. in their interpretation of CSS markup, the use of Javascript, and the display of graphics such as png files.

To assist people developing for Microsoft products, Microsoft offers a free download of their Virtual PC software along with images for their various web browsers. This allows you to run different web browser within separate virtual environments, for free.

You will need the following products:

* Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

* Microsoft Virtual PC Images with various Web Browsers

If linux is your primary operating system, then there are a few options. We tend to use an open source virtualization process and then run the software listed above with that program. For this, you will, however, need a copy of windows. We use virtualbox by Sun Microsystems, which is available for free.

If you are testing on your localhost with a xampp installation, for example you will need to load your websites by ip, not by http://localhost – so in linux this would be ifconfig to find your current ip address, or ipconfig in windows.